New York Yankees: Jack Cust Signed as Good Insurance Bat for DH, Bench Spot

Doug RushSenior Analyst IMarch 29, 2012

PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 01:  Jack Cust #29 of the Seattle Mariners warms up before the game against the Texas Rangers during spring training at Peoria Stadium on March 1, 2011 in Peoria, Arizona.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

You can never have enough firepower on offense.

The New York Yankees proved that on Wednesday by agreeing to a one-year deal with former A's slugger Jack Cust, according to a tweet by Sweeny Murti of WFAN.


"Yanks have signed veteran Jack Cust to minor league deal. Released by Astros few days ago. Power bat, good insurance at AAA."

—Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) March 28, 2012

Cust agreed to a minor-league deal and will likely begin the season in AAA at Scranton when the 2012 season kicks off.

The Yankees are bringing in Cust as an insurance bat just in case Raul Ibanez falters at all as the team's new designated hitter.

It's an interesting move for the Yankees to make considering they also have Russell Branyan in camp on a minor-league deal to compete for a roster spot as well.

Cust is the typical boom or bust type hitter, either swinging for the fence or striking out.

He walks a lot and has a high on-base percentage, which could help the Yankees as they like to grind out pitchers, but his strikeouts are what have been the major downfall of his career.

Last year, Cust played with the Seattle Mariners and only hit .213 with three home runs before being released on August 4.

The Phillies picked him up on August 12, but released him just eight days later.

Cust was originally signed by the Astros this spring, but was released on Tuesday, which led to his acquisition by the Yankees.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post said that Cust would sign with a National League team that wouldn't be the Colorado Rockies.


"Was told today by source close to Cust that Cust would be signing minor-league deal with an NL team, but not Rockies."

—Troy Renck, Rockies (@TroyRenck) March 27, 2012


Either Cust had a change of heart, or he was never that serious about signing with a team in the NL to begin with.

Either way, Cust is a good bat to have and if Ibanez does in fact falter, he's got some pop that could help the team. If he does well in AAA, he could be a useful bat to have off the bench.

It's a low-risk, potentially high-reward deal for the Yankees if Cust is called up to the Yankees and shows the power that he did when he was with Oakland.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.